- By admin
- In Engine
It will come as no surprise to anyone that a car that is properly maintained will work and run better than one that is neglected. That much is obvious and is why car manufacturers set out annual maintenance and servicing schedules which include the need to tune the engine.
However, not all engines are created equal. Some are performance orientated while others are designed to squeeze out the maximum mileage per gallon. For most motorists it is a combination of the two, tuning a vehicle to achieve running at peak efficiency by dint of a full service at a professional car servicing garage. The aim is to ensure smooth running and power whilst maximising fuel economy.
How Do I Know My Car Needs A Tune-Up?
Even a car that is otherwise regularly serviced may still need an extra dose of tuning. A decrease in miles per gallon is an indicator, as is less than smooth running; stalling for example. Here’s our suggestions for smooth running and to ensure your car is performing as efficiently as possible:
1. The Air Filter
It’s a simple job but one that gets neglected. The air filter has one job and to do it properly it needs to be clean at minimum and at best changed regularly. Air forms part of the combustible mix that powers a car and it needs to be clean air. That’s obviously what the air filter is for and it is amazing how much difference this simple and, importantly, cheap component makes. Ideally ask your servicing garage to replace it regularly or of course do it yourself. It’s very straightforward.
2. The Fuel Filter
Modern fuels are cleaner and greener than ever before but they still need filtering to ensure the motor operates at its best. It’s easy to draw impurities out of a petrol tank, especially one that is run down to very low levels often. This filter needs to be routinely examined to ensure it is clear.
3. Spark Plugs
Unlike cars, say, of the 20th Century, spark plugs do not need changing nearly as often as previously. That’s not to say though that they do not wear out. Spark plugs have a metal tip, the electrode, that wears down over time from high heat and the constant electrical arc. Faulty or worn spark plugs can cause misfires so, if the car is not performing as it should, ask your garage to check and replace them if necessary. Again, these are not expensive parts but they are at the heart of engine performance.
4. The Ignition System
Spark plugs are part of the ignition system but there are also flexible wires leading off them. A physical check will show if they are hard or cracked. If so, get them changed. The battery, the coil and sundry other parts are all needed to provide spark; it’s the beating heart of your engine.
5. An Overall Approach
Ensuring that all parts subject to wear and tear are checked and replaced as necessary. Oil and other fluids, filters, hoses and belts and so on all work together to give you a good driving experience. In our hurry to get everything else done we may not notice small inconsistencies in the vehicle’s performance. A good tip is to take your car out for a run specifically to check that all is as it should be, taking note of anything that does sound or feel right.
If in doubt, take the motor to a professional garage. Every car built since 1996 has an OBD-11 diagnostic port installed. The technician can plug into this and ascertain what ails the car. Servicing is important but sometimes a little extra TLC can make all the difference.